Whenever we visit my husband’s family in Spain , we get to enjoy the most smooth and flavorful mushroom risotto I have ever tried. My mother in law is one of those incredible women who are perfectly happy in the moment, enjoying every minute spent in the kitchen and diligently focusing on a single cooking task for as long as needed. I, on the other hand, am a kitchen multitasker and a border line CADD (Cooking Attention Deficit Disorder), trying to chop the onions, stir the soup and pack lunchboxes at the same time.
As a result, most of the recipes I typically use are from the “5 minutes prep, 15 minute on the stovetop” category. But mushroom risotto, or any risotto for that matter, is different. It needs to be stirred gently, lovingly and, most importantly, continually, for the whole 20-25 minutes. Only then you can get the perfect combination of creaminess and chewiness.
Obviously, this kind of commitment is the most challenging part of the recipe for someone like me, so it took me a while before I decided to finally give it a try. I simplified the classic recipe, slightly cut down on butter and upped the mushrooms (it’s a dietitian thing), but the result is still pretty amazing. Since my kids are crazy about mushrooms, the mushroom risotto quickly became one of our family favorites.
And although I still occasionally attempt to unload the dishwasher or season the salad while making the risotto, I am slowly getting better at just standing there and doing absolutely nothing but stirring gently, giving it the attention and love it deserves.
- 6 cups low sodium chicken or mushroom stock, preferably home made
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 pound sliced button mushrooms, or wild mushrooms
- 1 cup shallots (about 3 medium), finely chopped
- 2 cups dry Arborio rice
- ½ cup while wine
- 1-teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or chives
- Heat the chicken or mushroom stock in a small pot, cover with a lid and let it simmer gently on a very low heat.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven on a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté, until slightly browned, for about 5 minutes. If the pot is not hot enough, the mushrooms will release the water, so make sure you heat it well. Remove the cooked mushrooms from the pot and wipe it clean with a kitchen towel.
- Heat another tablespoon of butter in the pot, add the shallots and sauté on a low-medium heat until translucent and aromatic. Make sure to not brown them, the flavor of your risotto will not be the same.
- Add the dry rice to the sautéed shallots and stir for a few minutes to combine with the shallots and cover with the fat.
- Increase the heat a little, add the wine and keep stirring until the wine is absorbed.
- Add the salt.
- Add about a cup of the stock and keep stirring until absorbed and the rice is almost dry. Keep adding the stock, one cup at a time, until the risotto is very creamy but the rice still has a bite. The consistency you want to achieve will be a good match for both spoon and a fork, not too soupy and not too dry. It will take you about 20-25 minutes and you may have some stock leftover.
- Add the cooked mushrooms and heat though.
- Remove from the heat, add pepper, the last tablespoon of butter, grated Parmesan and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately sprinkled with some herbs and more Parmesan, if desired.